Many of our readers may already be aware of the big changes coming to the estate and gift tax in 2013. Essentially, the current exemption amount and tax rates are set to shift in the coming year back to their pre-2001 numbers.
Pepsi is marketing their product using the phrase "Live for NOW" and it appears that many these days are doing just that. Americans are using the resources they have available to them today that they could save for tomorrow in the hopes that they will either not need those resources, or will be able to resupply prior to retirement.
Prior to further addressing 'Common mistakes made in IRA planning' with part two, we will be discussing current events that demonstrate for us the need for preparation for the unanticipated.
Individual Retirement Accounts are widely used investment tools for retirement. To get the most out of an IRA, though, special estate planning considerations come into play. While IRAs are often used to provide for heirs directly or through a trust, the extent to which one's heirs will benefit and avoid burdensome taxes depends on doing proper planning. In our next couple posts, we'll take a look at common mistakes made with IRAs.
While much of estate planning focuses on ensuring our material wealth is passed on to the right people and in the right way, there is a definite spiritual component for many people. "Spiritual" estate planning is becoming particularly popular among baby boomers intent on ensuring their core values fit into their financial planning.
One of the big reasons to make use of special needs trusts is to ensure that disabled individuals can continue to receive government benefits, such as Supplemental Security Income and Medicaid. Because one cannot have more than $2,000 in personal assets in one's name in order to qualify for these programs, there isn't much wiggle room to provide disabled children with assets directly without compromising their ability to qualify for government support.
Our readers may be aware of the death of 92-year-old Kathryn Johnston, the Atlanta woman fatally shot by police during an illegal drug raid back in 2006. After enduring her untimely death, Johnston's family is now battling with a man of God in probate court over money.
Hurricane Sandy, besides being a potent reminder of the potential destructiveness of nature, was also a reminder of the need for including our pets in our estate planning. As our readers may have heard, a number of pets were separated from their families as a result of the storm. Many have been transported to shelters.
Our regular readers, and anybody that has been paying attention to the current state of the estate planning, know that big changes are in store for 2013 when it comes to estate tax. The long and short of it is that, come January, the current estate tax exemption of $5 million-technically $5.12 million when indexed for inflation-will decrease to $1 million.
On Tuesday, it was announced that George Lucas-creator of the Star Wars films-agreed to sell his company LucasFilm to Disney for a total of $4.05 billion in cash and stock. Estate planning experts have said that the agreement was a wise decision on Lucas' part, since cashing out now allows him to remove from his family the burden of managing his empire once he's passed on.